ALERT: Georgia - Aug 27, 2022

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources (GDNR) has proposed new regulations affecting keepers of many species of animals. Read the full proposal with changes to the current regulation highlighted by GDNR at We have some snippets below. The entire PDF is not a new regulation (the amendments to current law are highlighted). View a slide presentation at

Virtual Public Hearing: September 13th, 2022 at 7:00 PM. Instructions and link can be found at Public Meetings/Hearings and Public Comment | Department Of Natural Resources Division.

Comments must be submitted by 5:00 EST on September 30, 2022 via:

  1. Email submitted to;
  2. telephone (706-557-3223);
  3. the Wildlife Resources Division website;
  4. written statements mailed to the attention of Brett Albanese at:

Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Resources Division
2067 U.S. Highway 278, S.E. Social Circle, Georgia 30025

The Board of Natural Resources will consider adoption of these proposals and any comments received during the public comment process at its meeting at 9:00 a.m. on October 25, 2022 at Fort McAllister State Park, Group Shelter, 3894 Fort McAllister Road, Richmond Hill, Georgia 31324.

The below reptile species will be listed as “Wild Animals, License Required” in Georgia and can only be possessed if owned before the regulation becomes effective with compliance of grandfathering provisions or if kept for certain purposes with a state license (see below):

(c) Reptiles:

  1. Order Squamata:
    (i) Family Pythonidae – Python molurus (Indian rock python);
    (ii) Family Pythonidae – Python bivittatus (Burmese python);
    (iii) Family Teidae – Salvator merianae (Argentine black-and-white tegu);
    (iv) Family Varanidae – Varanus niloticus (Nile monitor);
  2. Order Testudines:
    (i) Family Pelomedusidae – Pelomedusa subrufa (African helmeted turtle);
    (ii) Family Trionychidae (softshell turtles) – Pelodiscus sinensis (Chinese softshell turtle);
  3. The species listed in subparagraph (c) shall only be licensed for scientific, educational, or public exhibition purposes consistent with O.C.G.A. Sec. 27-5-4; provided, however, that such species possessed on or before the effective date of this rule may be held as a pet without a license or permit provided that the owner tags and registers all individuals with the Georgia DNR Law Enforcement Division within 12 months following the effective date of this rule.

Also, the Family Atractaspididae (mole-vipers or stiletto snakes) will be added as “Inherently Dangerous Wild Animals, License and Insurance Required.”

Some mammals, birds, and fish are also added to these categories and the full list can be found at

Sample Messaging
Remember to be civil and professional at all times!

Email address:

Subject line: Opposition to python and tegu ban

Georgia Department of Natural Resources,

I oppose the proposed ban on Burmese pythons and Argentine black and white tegus as a responsible animal owner in Georgia. While understanding the concern of GDNR, a complete ban on future ownership, breeding, and sales for responsible herpetoculturists is overreaching, especially for those who have already invested resources into these species. There are alternatives that are more logical.

I request that GDNR collaborate with stakeholders to create a practical approach that will allow regulated breeding and sales while also doing an even better job at protecting our natural resources and native wildlife. Unfortunately, bans simply do not work and create more problems than those they claim to address.

Please table this ban and utilize responsible herpetoculturists for a better solution. I do understand current owners will be grandfathered, and while appreciated, this does not nullify the many problems created by the other aspects of this proposed ban. Thank you and have a good day.



Sample Phone Message

telephone number: 706-557-3223

Sample phone message: I oppose the proposed ban on Burmese pythons and Argentine black and white tegus as a responsible animal owner in Georgia. I request that GDNR create a regulation with responsible reptile keepers instead. Have a good day.